Prince Andrew stripped of royal patronages and military affiliations as sex abuse lawsuit moves ahead

British Prince Andrew has been stripped of all royal sponsorships and military affiliations – with the Queen’s approval. The announcement came a day after a U.S. District Judge Dismissed Andrew’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.

“The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and defend this case as a private citizen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said Thursday.

All of her official roles have been returned to Queen Elizabeth and will be redistributed to other members of the royal family, according to a royal source. He will also no longer use “His Royal Highness” in any official capacity.

Andrew’s lawyers had argued that the trial moving forward now should be thrown out because of a 2009 agreement that Guiffre signed with a convicted sex offender Jeffrey epstein. Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 2009 deal “cannot be said to” benefit Andrew.

British Prince Andrew attends with British Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, (2nd from right) and British Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) at the funeral ceremony for British Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel from Windsor Castle in Windsor, West London on April 17, 2021.

CHRIS JACKSON / AFP via Getty Images

It’s possible Andrew might decide to take the case to court, but given the negative light the process would shine on his family, most analysts consider it highly improbable. As a UK resident, he could also simply refuse to cooperate with a trial if it goes ahead, but that tactic could be disastrous.

The prince’s best option, said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman, is to try to reach an out-of-court settlement with Giuffre, to prevent the case from going to trial. But Giuffre would have to accept that option, and she has indicated no intention of doing so.

Giuffre tweeted on Friday that she was “happy” with the judge’s decision as it would give her “the chance to continue to expose the truth.”

“My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable,” she said in the tweets, which included thanks to her legal team and a message of solidarity with “the countless other survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking.”

Giuffre, who claims the prince sexually assaulted her on several occasions when she was a teenager, told CBS News in 2020 that Andrew “should panic” and the royal “must be held accountable”.

Prince Andrew denies all charges and has never been charged with a felony. He claims to have no recollection of meeting Giuffre, although they were pictured together when Giuffre was a teenager. Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in December of caring for and treating minors for sexual abuse, is pictured in the same photo.

Once considered a handsome playboy prince, Andrew’s name is now indelibly marred by his friendships with convicted sex offenders Epstein and Maxwell.

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